It might feel unusual to visit a Red Light District on a city trip, but even if you aren’t after the services found there, Amsterdam’s Red Light District is worth wandering through.
Legalised in 1810, the Dutch view on prostitution is that it cannot be stopped, but it can be controlled. Prostitutes are licensed, medically checked, pay taxes, have their own union, and are restricted to red light areas.
In Amsterdam, you’ll find the most famous area De Walletjes (small walls) along the Oudezijds Achetburgwal, Oudezijds Voorburgwal, Warmoesstraat, and (to a lesser degree) Zeedijk. In addition to the prostitution side of things, the area has a number of excellent museums, two beautiful churches (Amstelkring Church and the Oude Kerk), cafes and historic buildings.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is fairly safe, however, do be careful of pickpockets and no matter what you do, do not take photos. For more information on prostitution in the Netherlands and the Red Light District, visit the Prostitution Information Centre near the Oude Kerk.